LOUISVILLE, Ky. (December 14, 2012) - The American Volleyball Coaches Association is proud to announce that University of Oregon redshirt-senior outside hitter Alaina Bergsma has been selected as the 2012 AVCA Division I National Player of the Year. The award was presented this afternoon at the AVCA All-America/Players of the Year Banquet, which was held in Louisville, Kentucky, as part of the 2012 AVCA Annual Convention.
Entering the 2012 season, there was no doubt that Bergsma would be one of the top outside hitters once again, and she certainly did not disappoint. Heading into the NCAA tournament, the Pac-12 Player of the Year ranked fifth nationally in kills (4.92 per set), points (5.44 p/s) and led what many consider the nation's top conference in both categories. In hitting, she stood eighth in the league (.338), and had 23 + .300 hitting totals (and 10 +.400). Her top two kill totals of the season were vs. Washington State (32) and Washington (31), which also topped the Pac-12 this season.
Her strong performances have propelled Oregon deep into the NCAA tournament, defeating Nebraska in Omaha to earn a berth in the Final Four. She nailed 15 kills and hit .483 in their first round victory over Northern Colorado before tallying 16 and 17 kills against nationally ranked Dayton and BYU, respectively.
However, she saved her best performance in the national quarterfinals with Oregon's first ever semifinals appearance on the line. Against the Huskers, she smashed 23 kills while hitting .423 to go along with her 11 digs in a Nebraska dominated crowd in their home state.
Bergsma knows this is an unprecedented run for the Ducks, so she has a strong understanding what it means to the Oregon community.
"We're excited as a team," she said. "There has been alumni come back and tell us stories. I feel like we've been building on what they've done. We definitely had a record-breaking year already."
It took a team to defeat Penn State to give the Ducks their first appearance in the national championship match, with Bergsma just one of three players to tally double-digit kills (Brenner, Fischer). She also added 15 digs, 18.5 points and three block assists.
This was far from her only elite season, in the final 2011 national rankings, she ranked 12th and 14th nationally in kills and points (4.51 / 5.12 per set), and third in the Pac-12 in kills and fourth in points and aces (0.26 p/s). She became just the third Duck to garner AVCA All-American honors a year ago after making it onto the third team.